Labour-run Hammersmith & Fulham Council has been accused by the NHS of putting out incorrect and misleading claims about Charing Cross Hospital, which are ‘likely to cause significant, unnecessary distress to patients and staff’.
In response to the recent letter from the Labour Council Leader to all residents in Hammersmith & Fulham (which was sent out with Council Tax bills), in which he made the claim that ‘NHS bosses have re-launched plans to close Charing Cross’ as part of the North West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), local NHS leaders have stated firmly that there have never been any plans to close Charing Cross Hospital, and that the STP makes a clear commitment that there will be no reduction in Charing Cross’s A&E department and wider services within the STP’s remit until April 2021.
Local NHS leaders, Dr Batten and Ms Parker, drew attention to the Labour Council’s choice to spend significant sums of public money on leaflets in response to ‘closure plans’ that do not exist, and they have raised a formal complaint in the belief that Cllr Cowan’s letter has breached the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, specifically around objectivity and even-handedness.
Commenting on the local hospital’s rebuttal to the Council, local MP Greg Hands, said: “This is something unprecedented: the NHS publicly accusing a local Council of scaremongering. The Labour Council has been running this highly misleading campaign for some years now, and the recent letter from the Council to all local residents is full of untruths. It is highly ironic that, enclosed in the same envelope as their Council Tax bill, hard-working tax payers also receive a letter which is a product of Labour’s wasteful use of public funds."
Dr Batten and Ms Parker’s letter of complaint is below and can also be found here - https://www.imperial.nhs.uk/~/media/website/about-us/news/letter-to-cll… .